Honeycomb grouper

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Honeycomb grouper
Epinephelus merra JNC1499.JPG
Epinephelus merra from New Caledonia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Percoidei
Family: Serranidae
Subfamily: Epinephelinae
Genus: Epinephelus
Species: E. merra
Binomial name
Epinephelus merra
(Bloch, 1793 )

Epinephelus merra, commonly called Honeycomb grouper or Dwarf spotted rockcod among various other vernacular names, is a species of marine fish in the family Serranidae.


The Honeycomb grouper is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific but is not present in the Red Sea and the Persian gulf.[2]

It is one of the smaller fish species in the Epinephelus genus, with a maximum known length of 32 centimetres (13 in).[3]


The genus Epinephelus has the ability to change sexes, more specifically they are protogynous hermaphrodites what means females can turn into males at one point in their life. This sex change usually happens in the non breeding season and can be caused by social stimuli, age, growth, and body size. Yet, the initial trigger for the sex change remains unknown.[4] Females turn into males when they reach a length of approximately 20 cm, thus the size advantage model for sequential hermaphroditism applies in the case of the honeycomb grouper. The size advantage model states that if an individual can reproduce more effectively as one sex when small or young and as the other sex when larger or older, it should change sex at some point in its life history.[4]


  1. ^ Liu, M. & Yeeting, B. 2008. Epinephelus merra. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 October 2013.
  2. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/4923
  3. ^ Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann, 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.
  4. ^ a b Bhandari Ramji Kumar,"Evidence That Estrogen Regulates the Sex Change of Honeycomb Grouper (Epinephelus merra), a Protogynous Hermaphrodite Fish", Journal of Experimental Zoology, vol.303A,2005

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